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  1. #1
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    hSlice Microformat

    What is everyone’s viewpoint of the hSlice Microformat created by Microsoft and implemented in IE8, some people say it probably won’t catch on but I actually see a lot of potential for its use as a Microformat. I would like to see Microsoft submit the specification to microformats.org so that we could get a better understanding of its implementation for creating “micro-sites” which offer simple details alike a feed but with constantly altering standardised structured blocks of information such as weather, stocks or prices. There is a very real use for this technology, possibly more so then many other microformats I have come across and because of this I would really love to see this adopted browser wide as Microsoft have really innovated a quirky new Microformat which has some real genuine possibility.

    So what do you guys think of it and are you planning to implement it in your own websites?
    Last edited by AlexDawson; Mar 23, 2009 at 03:47.

  2. #2
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    As far as I can tell, hSlice is hAtom with a different class on the parent element. If other browsers wanted to add a feature like hSlice, I think they could use the existing hAtom draft specification to do so. Am I missing something?

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  4. #4
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    See I can understand why Microsoft kept the two terms separate, I always considered Atom as an alternative competitor to RSS (for syndicating content) where as hSlice seems to be more aimed at a explicit block of information which is updated on a regular occasion (such as a price) rather then something which gets regular content updates added.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    Here is the thing though:
    Since their is already a format in draft(hAtom), and if microsoft thinks hSlice should also be apart of the specification, they should discuss this format instead of trying to come out with their own. This could turn into a disaster..... This kind of reminds me of the browser wars from the early on years of the web. What if apple decided to come out with their own version of the hAtom? This would be a big headache to determine which microformat we should use for the job.

  6. #6
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I am not sure it would qualify for the same kind of status as the browser wars, after all what declares a Microformat within a document is the declaration of hSlice within a class attribute and seeing how we can declare any number of classes within an element we could simply use class=”hAtom hSlice” if required to show multiple browsers that it falls under both formats.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    Correct, you could use the class design pattern as you have shown: class="hAtom hSlice"

    Microformats are supposed to be embeddable, but I don't think there should be microformats that are competing with each other. I mean microsoft should ideally have this molded into the spec...

  8. #8
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Ideally there are a lot of things Microsoft should do, but unfortunately Microsoft have never really been the kind of organisation to follow something that works fine. They have some sort of psychological need to keep trying to "improve upon everything" and of course it often ends up backfiring.

  9. #9
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    Last edited by cooper.semantics; Mar 25, 2009 at 17:47.

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I never had any real problems with vista, I think the issue with vista was 1) manufacturers were lazy and slow with making 64bit drivers and software. And 2) people tried installing it on older machines when the increased graphical interface required a fairly good specification machine. The ONLY time I ever suffered a crash which was due to Windows Vista was down to some poorly written NVidia drivers which had over 5,000 people complaining on NVidia’s forums stating that the drivers were damaging the card.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    Yeah, I really haven't neither. I don't think my machine has crashed once(have some weird abnormalities here and there). It's just funny to hear Bill Gates motion that :-D

  12. #12
    ¨.¨ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    It is possible hSlice would/could go a different way then hAtom. That is another possible reason, would you not agree? I personally am not involved, or care for Microformats. However, might be better setting up a discussion with both parties involved instead of making assumptions. Would that not provide a better answer?

    From my understanding hAtom and hSlice describe content for different purposes, so maybe am alternative is to come up with a generic format for both? IMO, I find hSlice to be a far more fitting name, like meaning "slice of information" atom reminds me of something "micro information, not helpful". But that is just my opinion.

    In any case, maybe we should be proud Microsoft is adopting something they didn't create?

    Edit:
    After looking for the specs on hSlice this little tidbit popped out:
    The Web Slice is based on the hAtom Microformat , with a few additional properties...
    Last edited by logic_earth; Apr 3, 2009 at 12:52.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  13. #13
    SitePoint Member interpeo's Avatar
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    please guys, let's give up talking about this "new" features about the IE 8. Microsoft is surely a leader but no more in the world of browsers: standars, javascript speed rendering etc.

    When I hear about hSlices, WebSlices or Accelerators I think at those tons of free dowloadable little programs so called: (un)utilities - unuseful.

    Hey, don't misunderstand, I'm not that kind of user saying Microsoft is bad, Linux is great. What should we say about the lot of extensions of Firefox, really great and usefull, that are not so visible as the "new" features of IE!

    IMHO it is clear that people at Microsoft had to integrate the new "technology" with some tools, to better advertise the new browser.

    interpeo

  14. #14
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    logic_earth, your statement is rather pointless isn’t it? Firstly you state you are not involved or care for Microformats (I have no idea why this is considering the vast added layer of interactivity they can provide to your end users) and then you state we should set up a “discussion” for both sides. I am not sure what you call this thread but a discussion it was intended to be so people could put forward their opinions about the hSlice Microformat. There is a genuine and obvious difference between Atom (the syndication format – competitor to RSS) and hSlice (using the hAtom syndication Microformat) and even though you say they should make a generic format for both, what you fail to understand is that hAtom WAS the generic format. The thing which people were slightly irked with is that rather than adopt an existing system, they decided to do the same thing they did with opacity, half follow the specification and make their own proprietary code, the same way the first browser wars got started. What Microsoft has done with hSlice would be the same equivalent to if they took HTML 5 and added a whole bunch of “brand new tags” which only worked within IE and then called it HTML-X.

    Don't take this as an argument against you but I just feel that as you don’t use microformats you cannot really understand the issues involved, especially when earlier in the document I stated a method to use both in synchronicity. Though I did find it rather ironic that you said “instead of making assumptions” and then you immediately followed it with “from my understanding” which is clearly an assumption in itself.

    PS: interpeo, if you think hSlices or accelerators could be replaced with “utilities” or Firefox “extensions” you clearly don’t understand what microformats are and their purpose within a browser or for their wider benefit for the future of website development.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    IMO, I find hSlice to be a far more fitting name, like meaning "slice of information" atom reminds me of something "micro information, not helpful". But that is just my opinion.
    hAtom is based on a subset of the Atom syndication format.

    This should explain the name.

  16. #16
    ¨.¨ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    logic_earth, your statement is rather pointless isn’t it? Firstly you state you are not involved or care for Microformats...
    I do not care about Microformats but that does not mean I do not use them. To me it is just added bloat to data, something I would add last. Because at this time very little of users can make use of the additional bloat. Ie. not a priority for me.

    and then you state we should set up a “discussion” for both sides. I am not sure what you call this thread but a discussion it was intended to be...
    I did not mean a discussion between us, those of us here at Sitepoint. I meant those who run Microformats & Microsoft. Because we can only make assumptions as to why things are the way they are.

    even though you say they should make a generic format for both, what you fail to understand is that hAtom WAS the generic format.
    Actually Atom is not a generic format, it has a few required parts to it that make it hard to use for other pieces of data or purpose. A generic format would be limited in what properties it requires and be extend able. An extend able generic format would allow such things as hSlice and hAtom to be created using the same base without conflicting each other.

    The thing which people were slightly irked with is that rather than adopt an existing system...half follow the specification and make their own proprietary code
    People will be irked either way they went. Use hAtom and add the extra properties (proprietary code) to hAtom for WebSlices to work. Angry people because Microsoft added there junk to a standard.

    Microsoft extends a standard into a new branch to keep the existing standard free from proprietary implementations. Angry people because Microsoft is not using existing standards.

    ...Just cannot win huh?


    Though I did find it rather ironic that you said “instead of making assumptions” and then you immediately followed it with “from my understanding” which is clearly an assumption in itself.
    It is ironic when you quote it out of context. "[Would be] better setting up a discussion with both parties involved instead of making assumptions. Would that not provide a better answer?" Hearing from the sources would provide a better answer to why Microsoft went the way they did. Right now all we can do is make assumptions about it all. Never said we couldn't make assumptions
    Last edited by logic_earth; Apr 3, 2009 at 12:31.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  17. #17
    ¨.¨ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooper.semantics View Post
    hAtom is based on a subset of the Atom syndication format.

    This should explain the name.
    Clearly you misunderstood what I was saying. I was pointing out what I think when I see the words "Slice" and "Atom" in the context of websites, at a personal level. I am fully aware of what Atom really is.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  18. #18
    ¨.¨ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    I was thinking, do we want hAtom content to do what hSlice (WebSlice) content does? If not that would be a good reason to make to different formats.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  19. #19
    SitePoint Member interpeo's Avatar
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    @ Alex

    as far as I've been web developing from years, don't understand what you mean by saying I don't know what microformats are.

    Anyway, thanx for feedback!

    I only wanted to extend the discussion to what end user in concrete will do with microformats.

    I do respect your opinion, maybe the most popular, but I don't think were're talking about something with: "... wider benefit for the future of website development"

    However, lets's wait and see what will occur in the nearly!! future.

    interpeo

  20. #20
    SitePoint Enthusiast fvsch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooper.semantics View Post
    This kind of reminds me of the browser wars from the early on years of the web. What if apple decided to come out with their own version of the hAtom?
    Actually, browser makers are coming up with their own formats and specifications all the time, and submitting those to the standardization community most of the time. One prominent player in this game is Apple/Webkit Project, with such propositions as:

    - Canvas (included in HTML5, implemented in Safari, Firefox and Opera);
    - CSS Transitions (implemented in Safari);
    - CSS Transforms (implemented in Safari, and Firefox 3.1).

    When it's a CSS feature, browser makers generally use the proprietary extension syntax of CSS, i.e. prefixing new properties names with -prefix- (-webkit-, -moz-, -o-, -ms-...).

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Those are usually testing extentions. Sometimes it's created just to see if something is possible (transforms) and other times it's created to see how the regular CSS spec would need to be built into the browser as it now is (border-radius, even though it's not even completed yet).

    Microformats sound great, but they only work if your web site is a certain kind of content and your users/visitors have a certain kind of technology and on top of that, actually use them in that way. Microformats still have nothing to offer many businesses. I will need to wait for a microformat to cover insurance and to cover real estate, since those are specialty groups with special kinds of data that bloggities and news sites and social networking twitter-dee-dee type sites don't have.

    Taking something that already exists, tweaking it, and then sometimes giving it a whole new name, happens all the time in industry. It may not be right, but it's certainly not new.

  22. #22
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Microformats still have nothing to offer many businesses. I will need to wait for a microformat to cover insurance and to cover real estate, since those are specialty groups with special kinds of data that bloggities and news sites and social networking twitter-dee-dee type sites don't have.
    The great thing about Microformats is that you can create your own and as long as they follow a certain process in development (and are discussed by the Microformat community) and applications can adopt them on a basis of what they feel will best suit their software. But for businesses I can see the hCard Microformat being of particular benefit, being able to import a businessís contact information straight into your thunderbird/outlook address book?

    Interpeo, while you may have been developing websites for years when you claimed the comparison between add-ons for Firefox and microformats they have absolutely nothing in common. Microformats do not have any prerequisite to be able to function, all they require is some keen software developers to adopt them (or the makers to produce something that can work with them) and some basic semantic conventions which do not require much additional syntax.

  23. #23
    ¨.¨ shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    The great thing about Microformats is that you can create your own...
    So what is the issue with Microsoft creating hSlice then? Since obviously you said one can create there own.

    Microformats do not have any prerequisite to be able to function...
    Microformats do nothing of any function without any client side application or browser plugin. There is a prerequisite for them to function. There is no prerequisite in applying them in the source code of a page.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    @Florent V.
    Correct, but what you just said is irrelevant because Microsoft (which I understand) is not contributing this idea to the microformats community. So basically it seems to be more of a competing design pattern.

    @Stomme
    hCalendar, hCard - Offer business's contact information retrieval and calendar planning events.
    Brian Suda has various tools to offer that link from his service and you can have iCalendar information added to iCalendar and vCard information extracted to your email client.

    @AlexDawson
    Correct, you would have to propose a draft through the microformats community. You would need to:
    1. Propose an idea that HTML can't markup correctly - such as a tagCloud
    2. Look for existing standards that support this format - Looking on a giants shoulders
    3. If their seems to be no existing standard then use existing microformats as naming conventions where necessary.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    So what is the issue with Microsoft creating hSlice then? Since obviously you said one can create there own.
    You have to propose a draft via the microformats community. Microsoft has not


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